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Publication numberUS20050229971 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/032,310
Publication dateOct 20, 2005
Filing dateJan 9, 2005
Priority dateAug 25, 2003
Also published asUS7571741, US8485216, US20100024892
Publication number032310, 11032310, US 2005/0229971 A1, US 2005/229971 A1, US 20050229971 A1, US 20050229971A1, US 2005229971 A1, US 2005229971A1, US-A1-20050229971, US-A1-2005229971, US2005/0229971A1, US2005/229971A1, US20050229971 A1, US20050229971A1, US2005229971 A1, US2005229971A1
InventorsMichael Higgins
Original AssigneeMichael Higgins
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Flow trap with compartment separator and baffle for use in a waterless urinal
US 20050229971 A1
Abstract
In an urine cartridge, equalized pressures and increased flow rate between its inlet and outlet compartments increases the life of the cartridge. The pressure equalizing is effected by placement of a separator between the two compartments to provide them with substantially equal volumes. The increased flow rate is created by a uniquely configured baffle positioned adjacent a pan at the bottom of the cartridge. The baffle configuration is shaped to provide a constriction that increases the flow velocity of the urine so that the fluid flow effects a channel along the bottom pan and through any solids deposited on the bottom pan. A diverter may be placed above the centrally located entry to the inlet compartment to create a circuitous path for preventing a disturbing impingement of the urine onto the sealant contained in the inlet compartment. To accommodate the centrally placed entry and its placement vis-a-vis the inlet compartment, the separator is bowed at its location adjacent the entry and towards the outlet compartment. To fit the configuration of the baffle, the separator is curved generally in a likewise manner.
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Claims(41)
1. A urine cartridge comprising:
an inlet compartment for receipt of urine;
an outlet compartment for transfer of the urine from said inlet compartment to an external drain; and
a separator separating said compartments into substantially equal volumes for enabling the pressures in said compartments to be substantially equal.
2. A urine cartridge according to claim 1 in which said separator comprises an arcuately-shaped wall.
3. A urine cartridge according to claim 1 further including top and bottom walls in which said top wall has an opening therein and is disposed to receive and to permit the urine to pass into said inlet compartment, and wherein said separator comprises a bowed wall which has a fluid-tight fitting to said top wall sufficient to prevent direct fluid communication between said opening and said outlet compartment and which is spaced from said bottom wall to permit fluid communication between said inlet and outlet compartments.
4. A urine cartridge according to claim 3 wherein said bowed wall has top and bottom termini which respectively are secured to said cartridge top wall to form said fluid-tight fitting and are spaced from said cartridge bottom wall to provide fluid communication between said inlet and outlet compartments, and further including a baffle which is secured to said bottom terminus of said bowed wall and which is configured to direct the urine from said inlet compartment to said outlet compartment and in such a manner as to minimize the impediment to flow from any deposits on said bottom wall.
5. A urine cartridge according to claim 4 further including a connecting wall connecting said top and bottom walls and in which said baffle comprises:
a curved base having an underside
side walls coupled to and extending upwardly from said curved base and contacting said cartridge connecting wall in fluid-tight fittings therewith; and
a center wall coupled to said sides walls and to said curved base and having the same shape as that of said bowed wall to mate with and fit securely to said bowed wall separator bottom terminus.
6. A urine cartridge according to claim 5 wherein, to provide a curved baffle configuration:
said curved base includes a center part and side parts adjacent thereto, in which a segment of said center part is lower than said side parts; and
said center and side parts rise to an undulated termination which is located opposite said center wall and which has a center part and side parts neighboring thereto and elevated therefrom its neighboring side parts 162 b,
whereby the curved configuration of the baffle directs the urine to flow in directed flow paths generally from said center part to said side parts and thence under said baffle, between said curved base underside and said bottom wall of said pan, for exiting the urine into said outlet compartment whereby further the directed flow paths provide a constriction that increases the flow velocity of the urine and avoids the build up of deposits on said bottom wall of said bottom portion.
7. A urine cartridge according to claim 1 further including a mechanism between said inlet and outlet compartments for effecting a channel of least resistance through any solid matter deposited therebetween.
8. A urine cartridge according to claim 7 wherein said mechanism comprises a baffle secured to said separator, and includes:
a curved base having an underside;
side walls coupled to and extending upwardly from said curved base; and
a center wall coupled to said sides walls and to said curved base and having the same shape as that of said separator to mate with and fit securely thereto.
9. A urine cartridge according to claim 8 wherein, to provide a curved baffle configuration:
said curved base includes a center part and side parts adjacent thereto, in which a segment of said center part is lower than said side parts; and
said center and side parts rise to an undulated termination which is located opposite said center wall and which has a center part and side parts neighboring thereto and elevated therefrom its neighboring side parts 162 b,
whereby the curved configuration of the baffle directs the urine to flow in directed flow paths generally from said center part to said side parts and thence under said baffle, between said curved base underside and said bottom wall of said pan, for exiting the urine into said outlet compartment whereby further the directed flow paths provide a constriction that increases the flow velocity of the urine and avoids the build up of deposits on said bottom wall of said bottom portion.
10. A urine cartridge according to claim 1 further comprising:
a top wall in which said top wall has an opening therein and is disposed to receive and to permit the urine to pass into said inlet compartment; and
a diverter for avoiding direct access of the urine to the opening;
a shell placeable on the upper wall of the cartridge and over the opening therein; and
a spacer spacing said shell from the top wall to permit urine to flow into the top wall opening of the cartridge.
11. A diverter according to claim 10 in which said shell includes an essentially fluid-obstructing upper surface bounded by a periphery which is spaced from the upper wall of the cartridge by said spacer, whereby said essentially fluid-obstructing upper surface is configured to direct the urine towards said periphery and thence onto the cartridge upper wall for entry into the upper wall opening.
12. A diverter according to claim 11 in which said shell includes a latching mechanism engageable with said cartridge upperwall opening for securing said diverter to the cartridge.
13. A urine cartridge comprising:
an inlet compartment for receipt of urine;
an outlet compartment for transfer of the urine from said inlet compartment to an external drain; and
a mechanism between said inlet and outlet compartments for effecting a channel of least resistance through any solid matter deposited therebetween.
14. A urine cartridge according to claim 13 in which said mechanism comprises a baffle secured to said separator, and includes:
a curved base having an underside;
side walls coupled to and extending upwardly from said curved base; and
a center wall coupled to said sides walls and to said curved base and having the same shape as that of said separator to mate with and fit securely thereto.
15. A urine cartridge according to claim 14 wherein, to provide a curved baffle configuration:
said curved base includes a center part and side parts adjacent thereto, in which a segment of said center part is lower than said side parts; and
said center and side parts rise to an undulated termination which is located opposite said center wall and which has a center part and side parts neighboring thereto and elevated therefrom its neighboring side parts,
whereby the curved configuration of the baffle directs the urine to flow in directed flow paths generally from said center part to said side parts and thence under said baffle, between said curved base underside and said bottom wall of said pan, for exiting the urine into said outlet compartment whereby further the directed flow paths provide a constriction that increases the flow velocity of the urine and avoids the build up of deposits on said bottom wall of said bottom portion.
16. A urine cartridge according to claim 15 further including top and bottom walls in which said top wall has an opening therein and is disposed to receive and to permit the urine to pass into said inlet compartment, and wherein said separator comprises a bowed wall which has a fluid-tight fitting to said top wall sufficient to prevent direct fluid communication between said opening and said outlet compartment and which is spaced from said bottom wall to permit fluid communication between said inlet and outlet compartments.
17. A urine cartridge according to claim 16 wherein:
said bowed wall has top and bottom termini which respectively are secured to said cartridge top wall to form said fluid-tight fitting and are spaced from said cartridge bottom wall to provide fluid communication between said inlet and outlet compartments; and
said bottom terminus is secured to said baffle.
18. A urine cartridge according to claim 13 further comprising:
a top wall in which said top wall has an opening therein and is disposed to receive and to permit the urine to pass into said inlet compartment; and
a diverter for avoiding direct access of the urine to the opening;
a shell placeable on the upper wall of the cartridge and over the opening therein; and
a spacer spacing said shell from the top wall to permit urine to flow into the top wall opening of the cartridge.
19. A diverter according to claim 18 in which said shell includes an essentially fluid-obstructing upper surface bounded by a periphery which is spaced from the upper wall of the cartridge by said spacer, whereby said essentially fluid-obstructing upper surface is configured to direct the urine towards said periphery and thence onto the cartridge upper wall for entry into the upper wall opening.
20. A diverter according to claim 19 in which said shell includes a latching mechanism engageable with said cartridge upperwall opening for securing said diverter to the cartridge.
21. A cartridge for handling wastewater comprising:
an inlet compartment for receipt of wastewater;
an outlet compartment for transfer of the wastewater from said inlet compartment to an external drain; and
a baffle between said inlet and outlet compartments having lower and upper points for directing the wastewater in an upwardly manner towards said outlet compartment.
22. A cartridge according to claim 21 in which said baffle includes a terminal edge having a center part and neighboring said parts in which said center part is slightly elevated from said neighboring side parts to direct flow of the wastewater from said center part to said side parts and thence under said baffle for exiting into said outlet compartment.
23. A cartridge according to claim 22 wherein said baffle includes an underside and said cartridge includes a bottom portion pan having an upper surface positioned below said baffle to form a constriction defined by said baffle constituent parts, between said baffle underside and said upper surface of bottom portion pan.
24. A cartridge according to claim 23 in which said constriction increases the flow velocity of the wastewater and avoids the build up of deposits on said bottom portion pan and generally within the region from said inlet compartment to said outlet compartment, whereby the increased velocity effects a channel of least resistance through any solid matter deposited in said inlet to outlet compartment region.
25. A cartridge for handling wastewater comprising:
an inlet compartment for receipt of wastewater;
an outlet compartment for transfer of the wastewater from said inlet compartment to an external drain; and
a mechanism between said inlet and outlet compartments having media for directing the wastewater in multiple paths towards said outlet compartments and for at least effecting a channel of least resistance between said inlet and outlet compartments.
26. A cartridge according to claim 25 wherein said baffle includes an underside and said cartridge further includes a bottom portion having an upper surface positioned below said baffle to form a constriction defined by said baffle underside and said upper surface of bottom portion, in which said constriction is shaped to increase the flow velocity of the wastewater and avoids the build up of deposits on said bottom portion pan and generally within the region from said inlet compartment to said outlet compartment, whereby the increased velocity effects a channel of least resistance through any solid matter deposited in said inlet to outlet compartment region.
27. In a cartridge having an inlet compartment for receipt of fluids including urine and an outlet compartment for transfer of the fluids from the inlet compartment to an external drain, a method for improving the life of the urine cartridge comprising the step of:
channeling a path through any solid matter deposited in a region between the inlet and outlet compartments.
28. The method according to claim 25 in which said channel step comprises the step of vigorously flowing the fluids through the region.
29. The method according to claim 26 in which said vigorously flowing step comprises the step of effecting a constriction in the region that increases the flow velocity of the fluid therethrough.
30. The method according to claim 27 in which said constriction effecting step comprises the step of constricting the fluid flow path.
31. The method according to claim 25 in which said channeling step comprises the steps of:
configuring a baffle with a curved base having a center part and side parts adjacent thereto, including locating a segment of the center part lower than the side parts;
elevating the center and side parts to an undulated termination which is located opposite the center wall; and
configuring the termination with a center part and side parts neighboring the center part so that the center part is elevated from its neighboring side parts,
whereby the urine is directed to flow in directed flow paths generally from the center part to the side parts and thence under the baffle, between the curved base underside and the bottom wall of the pan, for exiting the urine into the outlet compartment whereby further the directed flow paths provide a constriction that increases the flow velocity of the urine and avoids the build up of deposits on the bottom wall of the bottom portion.
32. The method according to claim 25 further comprising the step of providing substantially equal volumes in the inlet and outlet compartments for enabling the pressures between the compartments to be substantially equal.
33. The method according to claim 25 further comprising the step of substantially equalizing the pressures between the compartments.
34. The method according to claim 26 wherein said pressure equalizing step comprises the step of providing substantially equal volumes in the compartments.
35. In a cartridge having an inlet compartment for receipt of fluids including urine and an outlet compartment for transfer of the fluids from the inlet compartment to an external drain, a method for improving the life of the urine cartridge comprising the step of providing substantially equal volumes in the inlet and outlet compartments for enabling the pressures between the compartments to be substantially equal.
36. In a cartridge having an inlet compartment for receipt of fluids including urine and an outlet compartment for transfer of the fluids from the inlet compartment to an external drain, a method for improving the life of the urine cartridge comprising the step of substantially equalizing the pressures between the compartments.
37. The method according to claim 34 wherein said pressure equalizing step comprises the step of providing substantially equal volumes in the compartments.
38. The method according to claim 34 further comprising the steps of:
providing channels through any solid matter deposited in a region between the inlet and outlet compartments.
39. The method according to claim 36 in which said channeling step comprises the step of vigorously flowing the fluids through the region.
40. The method according to claim 37 in which said vigorously flowing step comprises the step of effecting a constriction in the region that increases the flow velocity of the fluid therethrough.
41. The method according to claim 38 in which said constriction effecting step comprises the step of constricting the fluid flow path.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/535,463, filed 9 Jan. 2004, and U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/579,921, filed 14 Jun. 2004, and is a continuation-in-part of the following provisional and nonprovisional applications: Ser. No. 10/647,603 (Docket No. 7148-108A-US), filed 25 Aug. 2003; Ser. No. 10/744,708 (Docket No. 7148-111A-US), filed 23 Dec. 2003; application Ser. No. 60/535,463 (Docket No. 7148-117-PR), filed 9 Jan. 2004; and any of their predecessor applications.

REFERENCE REGARDING FEDERAL SPONSORSHIP

Not Applicable

REFERENCE TO MICROFICHE APPENDIX

Not Applicable

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a flow trap, such as a cartridge used in waterless urinals having an odor preventing closure mechanism and, in particular, and to improvements in the internal liquid flow path and sealant integrity of such a cartridge and, additionally, to improving flow trap life and usability, including the need for the servicing and replacement of such cartridges.

2. Description of Related Art and Other Considerations

In existing waterless urinals, the life and usability of cartridges employed in waterless urinals has been found to be dependent, in part, upon the need for their servicing and replacement when debris and matter are deposited therein. For example, in the cartridges described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,053,197, 6,245,411, 6,644,339 and U.S. Pat. No. 6,xxx,xxx [Ser. No. 09/855,735 (filed 14 May 2001)] and U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/143,103 (filed 7 May 2002), as the liquids flow from the inlet compartment to the outlet compartment and thence to an external drain, the flow is sufficiently gentle that solid matter contained in the fluid deposits in the pan of the bottom portion and eventually builds up to block flow from the inner compartment to the outlet compartment. As a consequence, the cartridge needs to be replaced. Further, it has been observed that unequal pressures between the two compartments create syphoning therebetween and, particularly, of syphoning of sealant from the inlet compartment to the outlet compartment, which leads to premature failure and a reduction in the usable life of the cartridge.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

These and other problems are successfully addressed and overcome by the present invention, along with attendant advantages, by equalizing the pressures and by increasing the flow rate between the inlet and outlet compartments. Such pressure equalizing is effected preferably by establishing substantially equal volumes in the two compartments and, specifically, by use of a separator. Such increased flow rate is effected by use of a baffle positioned at the bottom of the cartridge adjacent the pan, which baffle is so configured as to provide a constriction that increases the flow velocity of the urine and thus to use the fluid flow to effect a flow path or channel of least resistance through any solid matter in the bottom pan and thus to remove or carry away or displace solids that maybe or have been in the wastewater or urine and thus not deleteriously affect or otherwise substantially deter flow into the outlet compartment. Such action may also otherwise avoid the build up of deposits on the bottom portion. In addition, it is preferred to locate the entry to the inlet compartment centrally of the cartridge so that a diverter may be placed above the entry and thereby to create a circuitous path for preventing turbulence or a disturbing impingement of the urine onto the sealant contained in the inlet compartment. To accommodate the centrally placed entry and its placement vis-a-vis the inlet compartment, the separator is bowed at its location adjacent the entry and towards the outlet compartment. To fit the configuration of the baffle, the separator is curved generally in a likewise manner.

Several advantages are obtained derived from these arrangements. The life and usability of the cartridge is extended. Sealant is conserved. Deposits of solid matter within the cartridge are at least minimized. Of importance, the fluid flow effects a flow path or channel of least resistance through any solid matter in the bottom pan.

Other aims and advantages, as well as a more complete understanding of the present invention, will appear from the following explanation of an exemplary embodiment and the accompanying drawings thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a flow trap cartridge usable in a waterless urinal;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view, in perspective, of the cartridge shown in FIG. 1;

FIGS. 3-6 are, respectively, two side views taken 180░ from one another, a top view and a bottom view of the cartridge;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the cartridge taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the cartridge taken along line 8-8 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the cartridge taken along line 9-9 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional enlarged view of the cartridge taken along cutaway line 10 of FIG. 7;

FIGS. 11 and 12 are perspective views of the bottom portion of the cartridge viewed respectively from its top and bottom sides;

FIG. 13 is a side view of the cartridge bottom portion;

FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional view of the bottom portion taken along line 14-14 of FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a cross-sectional enlarged view of the cartridge top portion taken along cutaway line 15-15 of FIG. 14;

FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional enlarged view of the cartridge taken along cutaway line 16 of FIG. 7;

FIG. 17 a cross-sectional enlarged view of the cartridge taken along cutaway line 17 of FIG. 9;

FIG. 18 is a perspective enlarged view of the cartridge taken from its top side with a portion cutaway to expose its inner structure;

FIGS. 19 and 20 are perspective views of the top portion of the cartridge taken respectively from its top and bottom;

FIGS. 21-23 respectively are top, side and bottom views of the cartridge top portion;

FIG. 24 is a cross-sectional view of the cartridge top portion taken along line 24-24 of FIG. 21;

FIG. 25 is a cross-sectional view of the cartridge top portion taken along line 25-25 of FIG. 22;

FIG. 26 is a cross-sectional view of the cartridge top portion taken along line 26-26 of FIG. 23;

FIG. 27 is a cross-sectional enlarged view of the cartridge top portion taken along cutaway line 27 of FIG. 24;

FIG. 28 is a perspective view of the baffle, in the interior of the cartridge, viewed towards its top surface;

FIG. 29 is a perspective view of the baffle viewed towards its lower surface;

FIGS. 30-32 respectively are a top view and side views, taken orthogonally with respect to one another, of the baffle;

FIG. 33 is a cross-sectional view of the baffle taken along line 33-33 of FIG. 30;

FIG. 34 is a cross-sectional view of the baffle taken along line 34-34 of FIG. 30;

FIG. 35 is a cross-sectional enlarged view of the baffle taken along cutaway line 35 of FIG. 33;

FIG. 36 is a cross-sectional view of a cartridge, such as depicted in FIGS. 1 et seq., with a first embodiment of urine diverter secured to its top wall;

FIG. 37 is a side view of the diverter illustrated in FIG. 36;

FIG. 38 is an enlarged view of a spacing standoff taken along cutaway line 38 of FIG. 37;

FIG. 39 is a perspective view of the diverter shown in FIG. 36 viewing its underside;

FIG. 40 is a side view of a second embodiment of a diverter which is useful as an alternate to that depicted in FIG. 36;

FIG. 41 is a top view of the diverter shown in FIG. 40;

FIG. 42 is a cross-sectional view of the diverter taken along line 42-42 of FIG. 41;

FIG. 43 is an enlarged view of a spacing standoff taken along cutaway line 43 of FIG. 40; and

FIG. 44 is a perspective of the cartridge, such as depicted in FIG. 36, placed in a urinal for coupling of the cartridge to a drain pipe.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Accordingly, referring to FIGS. 1-27, a cartridge assembly 100, acting as a flow trap for urine or other generally fluid waste products, comprises a top portion 102 (FIGS. 19-27) and a bottom portion 104 (FIGS. 11-15). A fluid 103 with urine therein and an oily sealant 105 atop the fluid is contained within the cartridge, as illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 9.

Top portion 102 has a cylindrical configuration defined by a tubular wall 106 terminated by an opening 108 at its lower end and a top wall 110 at its upper end. The top wall is sloped downwardly to a flat, generally horizontal flat center portion 112 in which an entry opening 114 is disposed, to act as a urine inlet. As depicted in FIG. 25, opening 114 comprises a tripartite arrangement of three arced slots 114 a, 114 b and 114 c. A hole 115 is centrally positioned within center portion 112. As will be described with respect to FIGS. 36-43, slots 114 a, 114 b and 114 c and hole 115 are adapted to hold either of the two diverters depicted therein to cartridge 100. Top portion 102 is further provided with three keys 116 of which one may be of different length than the other two (e.g., see FIG. 2) for purposes of properly placing and orienting cartridge 100 within a urinal, as more fully described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,644,339 (the parent application of above-noted Ser. No. 10/647,603).

Top wall 110 is provided with a recess 117 as shown in FIGS. 7, 9, 24, 26 at its outer periphery to accept a seal, such as O-ring seal 228 (see FIG.44). Recess 117 has a small dimension sufficient to minimize the trapping of urine therein.

Top wall 110 of top portion 102 is further provided with three openings 118 which act as air vents that communicate with the interior of cartridge 100. In the event that one or two may become clogged, such as by urine when the urinal is in use, there will be at least one that remains open. Openings 118 also provide a means by which a tool may be inserted therein for the purpose of inserting and removing the cartridge into and from a urinal, as also described in above-noted co-pending provisional application No. 60/535,463, now patent application ser. No. ______. Accordingly, for purposes of their use as tool engagement means, it is preferred that the outermost two openings be approximately diagonally opposed to one another. However, the placement or use of these openings may be otherwise designed to accommodate other tool configurations.

The interior of top portion 102 is divided by a bowed vertical separator 120 into two compartments, respectively an inlet compartment 122 and an outlet compartment 124. Vertical separator 120 is secured or molded to the interior surface of tubular wall 106 and to the underside of top wall 110 at a terminus 121 a in any convenient manner. The bottom end of the vertical separator terminates in an end or terminus 121 b which is disposed to be connected to a baffle 150, as will be presently described fully in FIGS. 28-35. When top and bottom portions 102 and 104 are placed together and a discharge section 128 (FIGS. 7,8 and 11-14) of bottom portion 104 extends into outlet compartment 124, inlet compartment 122 and outlet compartment 124 have generally equal volumes. It is important that the compartment volumes be made as equal as possible to ensure that the pressures on both sides of vertical separator 120 remain equal during use of the cartridge. Such pressure equality helps to minimize syphoning or, alternatively, to maximize resistance to syphoning between the compartments and, of particular importance, of sealant 105 from the inlet compartment to the outlet compartment. Thus, the usable life of the cartridge is improved by avoiding premature failure thereof. Additionally, any impediment to liquid flow in minimized.

Vertical separator 120 is bowed, e.g., curved or bent, to accommodate centrally positioned entry opening 114 which needs to fully communicate with inlet compartment 122. The illustrated curved bowing of the vertical separator further enables air vent openings 118 also to communicate with the inlet compartment, as best seen in FIGS. 23 and 25. It is to be understood, however, that the vertical separator need not be curved as illustrated; it may take any configuration that will effect its purpose, that is, to provide equally volumed compartments and to oblige the communications of openings 114 with the inlet compartment. Therefore, for example, if the air vent openings were not used as a means to cooperate with a cartridge inserting and removing tool, as above described, and/or entry opening 114 were not centrally positioned in top wall 110, or for any other reason apart from its compartment volume-defining purpose, vertical separator 120 may be otherwise configured.

Bottom portion 104, as depicted in FIGS. 11-15, comprises a pan 126 and a discharge section 128 extending upwardly therefrom. The upper surface of pan 126 defines a bottom wall 127 of cartridge 100; bottom wall 127 may be likened as being the mate to top wall 110. The pan includes a wall 130 terminating at an edge 132 which provides a tongue-in-groove engagement with tubular wall 106 at its lower end opening 108, as best seen in FIG. 17 to provide a fluid-tight engagement between top and bottom portions 102 and 104. The inner surfaces of pan 126 are rounded to prevent sharp angled corners and are smoothed to enhance fluid flow and to discourage build up of matter and bacteria or other debris.

Upwardly extending discharge section 128, which as described above extends into outlet compartment 124 of top portion 102, includes a tube 134 (as best seen in FIGS. 11 and 14) that communicates with outlet compartment 104 and opens at an exit port area 136 through pan 126 for discharge of fluids, e.g., fluid 103, and other undesired matter from the outlet compartment to a drain 220. The discharge section also includes a pair of tubular chambers 138 for receipt of post-treatment chemicals for treating the exiting urine, as contained in control stick 224 or pellets, as more fully described in copending application Ser. No. ______ (provisional application No. 60/579,921). Chambers 138 are closed at walls 140 (see FIG. 11) at one of their ends at the uppermost part of upwardly extending discharge section 128 to prevent flow of fluids thereinto from the outlet compartment, and are open at their other ends 142 (see FIG. 14).

A flow director 144 in tube 134 adjacent exit port area 136 comprises an angled part which is adapted to direct fluid flow towards ends 142 of tubular chambers 138 for impacting control stick 224, as presently described. A pair of longitudinally extending ribs 145 (see FIG. 11) are formed in and extend along the length of conduit 134 and terminate adjacent to tubular chamber ends 142 and act further as a flow director also to direct fluid flow towards ends 142.

A key 146 and a keyway 148 are provided respectively on the interior surface of tubular wall 106 (see FIGS. 23, 25 and 26) and on the backside of upwardly extending discharge section 128 (see FIGS. 13 and 14). The key and keyway are disposed to provide an orientation and proper alignment between top and bottom portions 102 and 104 and, through the orienting mechanism of keys 116 with the urinal, to place exit port area 136 adjacent exterior drain 220 from cartridge 100.

As depicted in FIGS. 28-35, a baffle 150 is disposed to be secured to curved vertical separator 120 and acts as a mechanism for improved direction and flow of wastewater fluids through the cartridge in a region from inlet compartment 122 to outlet compartment 124. The baffle comprises a curved base 152 from which a center wall 154 and side walls 156 a and 156 b upwardly extend. Wall 154, which terminates in a groove 158, has the same curvature as that of curved vertical separator 120 so that groove 158 will mate with and fit securely within vertical separator end 121 b, such as illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 17. Walls 156 a and 156 b are curved similarly as or otherwise contoured in conformance with the inner wall of tubular wall 106, and the top and bottom walls may be accordingly shaped differently than as shown and as dictated as wall 106. Further, the dimension of baffle 150 between walls 156 a and 156 b is sized to form a snug, fluid-tight fit of the baffle within tubular wall 106, also as shown in FIG. 17. Therefore, fluids within inlet compartment 122 are forced to flow onto the surface of curved base 152.

With respect to the curvature of base 152, which acts as a weir, the base is carefully configured to effect several desired results. The curved base has a lowermost segment 160, which is slightly lower at its center part or point 160 a than at its adjacent side parts or points 160 b. Base 152 curves generally at 900 from generally upstanding wall 154, and all parts 160 a and 160 b rise to an undulated termination or terminal edge 162. Termination 162 has a center part 162 a which is slightly elevated from its neighboring side parts 162 b. This curved configuration of the baffle directs fluid 103 to flow in the directions generally portrayed by arrow-headed lines 164, that is, from center part 160 a to side parts 162 b and thence under the baffle, between its underside 166 and the upper surface of bottom portion pan 126. The fluids then exit into outlet compartment 124 as portrayed generally by arrow-headed lines 168. The directed flow paths, as represented by arrow-headed lines 164 and 168 provide a constriction that increases the flow velocity and avoids the resistance of flow due to deposits on bottom portion 104 generally within the region from inlet compartment 122 to outlet compartment 124. The increased velocity thus effects channel of least resistance through any solid matter deposited in the region between the inlet and outlet compartment and at least minimizes any deposit of such solid matter. The above-described components or parts of baffle 150 may be defined as channeling media.

Reference is now made to FIGS. 36-43, and to a urine diverter whose two illustrative embodiments are shown as diverters 170 and 270. For the first embodiment shown in FIGS. 36-39, a pretreatment control tablet 172 is held within a tablet retainer mechanism 174 for holding the tablet within the diverter. Diverter 170, as generally depicted in FIG. 36, is positionable atop wall 110 of top portion 102 for protectively covering entry opening 114 (e.g., see also FIG. 5) and for providing a circuitous path for flow of urine to the opening. Therefore, urine is prevented from directly contacting and entering into opening 114 and impinging upon sealant 105 within the cartridge. Diverter 170, which includes a shell 176, is slightly spaced from top portion top wall 110 to assure a clear path for flow of the urine and to space retainer 174 and tablet 172 from the top wall. Such spacing is effected by use of a standoff 178 (as best shown in FIG. 38), which depends from shell 176 and comprises a large portion 178 a and a smaller portion 178 b. Portion 178 b is made to be as small as possible to permit the smallest contact of the diverter with the top wall and, therefore, to provide the largest possible unobstructed flow path.

As depicted also in FIGS. 37 and 39, shell 176 comprises an upper surface 180, terminated by a periphery 182 with a downwardly depending flange 184. Upper surface 180 slopes downwardly towards periphery 182 to encourage flow of urine towards the periphery. Inwardly-facing bumps 186 are formed on large portion 178 of standoffs 178 for holding tablet retainer 174 to the inside of shell 176.

A tubular housing 188 preferably of cylindrical configuration is secured at one end to the center of the under surface of shell 176 and terminates in a latching mechanism 190 at its second end 192 which has a bi-level shape. The second end is also formed with cutaway portions 194, as configured by the shape of bi-level end 192, into legs 196 to permit a bending of the latching mechanism. Latching mechanism 190 comprises pairs of facing teeth 198 at the ends of legs 196 which are adapted to latch into arced slots 114 a, 114 b and 114 c of top wall 110 for securing diverter 170 to top portion 102.

Reference is now made to FIGS. 36-43, and to a urine diverter whose two illustrative embodiments are shown as diverters 170 and 270. For the first embodiment shown in FIGS. 36-39, a pretreatment control tablet 172 is held within a tablet retainer mechanism 174 for holding the tablet within the diverter. Diverter 170, as generally depicted in FIG. 36, is positionable atop wall 110 of top portion 102 for protectively covering entry opening 114 (e.g., see also FIG. 5) and for providing a circuitous path for flow of urine to the opening. Therefore, urine is prevented from directly contacting and entering into opening 114 and impinging upon sealant 105 within the cartridge. Diverter 170, which includes a shell 176, is slightly spaced from top portion top wall 110 to assure a clear path for flow of the urine and to space retainer 174 and tablet 172 from the top wall. Such spacing is effected by use of a standoff 178 (as best shown in FIG. 38), which depends from shell 176 and comprises a large portion 178 a and a smaller portion 178 b. Portion 178 b is made to be as small as possible to permit the smallest contact of the diverter with the top wall and, therefore, to provide the largest possible unobstructed flow path.

As depicted also in FIGS. 37 and 39, shell 176 comprises an upper surface 180, terminated by a periphery 182 with a downwardly depending flange 184. Upper surface 180 slopes downwardly towards periphery 182 to encourage flow of urine towards the periphery. Inwardly-facing bumps 186 are formed on large portion 178 of standoffs 178 for holding tablet retainer 174 to the inside of shell 176.

A tubular housing 188 preferably of cylindrical configuration is secured at one end to the center of the under surface of shell 176 and terminates in a latching mechanism 190 at its second end 192 which has a bi-level shape. The second end is also formed with cutaway portions 194, as configured by the shape of bi-level end 192, into legs 196 to permit a bending of the latching mechanism. Latching mechanism 190 comprises pairs of facing teeth 198 at the ends of legs 196 which are adapted to latch into arced slots 114 a, 114 b and 114 c of top wall 110 for securing diverter 170 to top portion 102.

Tablet retainer 174 is more fully disclosed in provisional application No. 60/535,463 and its non-provisional application Ser. No. ______, filed on ______ (the same date as this application) whose contents are incorporated herein as if set forth in haec verba.

A pair of post-treatment discharge control sticks 224 or pellets are disposed to be placed within tubular chambers 138 and may include a biocide and cleaning agents held in a time-release binder. Its use is primarily as a descaling agent to help maintain a clean drain pipe, and especially in environments where the cartridge use pattern is such that additional descaling is needed. The post-treatment discharge control sticks or pellets may be used alone or in conjunction with pretreatment control tablet 172. Like tablet retainer 174, the post-treatment discharge control stick or pellets is more fully disclosed in provisional application No. 60/535,463 and its non-provisional application Ser. No. ______, filed on ______ (the same date as this application) whose contents are incorporated herein as if set forth in haec verba.

The second embodiment of the diverter, diverter 270, is shown in FIGS. 40-43. This diverter is positionable atop wall 110 of top portion 102 protectively covers entry opening 114 (e.g., see also FIG. 5) in a manner similar to that shown for diverter 170 in FIG. 36, and provides a circuitous path for flow of urine to the opening. Therefore, urine is prevented from directly contacting and entering into opening 214 and impinging upon and agitating sealant 105 within the cartridge. In addition, a pretreatment control tablet may be held within a tablet retainer for holding the tablet within the diverter, again as described above. Diverter 270, as generally depicted in FIG. 36. Diverter 270, which includes a shell 276, is slightly spaced from top portion top wall 110 to assure a clear path for flow of the urine and to space the retainer and its retained tablet from the top wall. Such spacing is effected by use of a standoff 278 (as best shown in FIG. 43), which depends from shell 276 and comprises a large portion 278 a and a smaller portion 278 b. Portion 278 b is made to be as small as possible to permit the smallest contact of the diverter with the top wall and, therefore, to provide the largest possible unobstructed flow path.

As depicted also in FIGS. 37 and 39, shell 276 comprises an upper surface 280, terminated by a periphery 282 with a downwardly depending flange 284. Upper surface 280 slopes downwardly towards periphery 282 to encourage flow of urine towards the periphery. Inwardly-facing bumps 286, which are more elongated that previously described bumps 186, are formed on large portion 278 of standoffs 278, as well as on other inner parts of flange 284, for holding the tablet retainer, such as previously described retainer 174, to the inside of shell 276.

A base 288, preferably of cylindrical configuration, is secured at one end to the center of the under surface of shell 276 and terminates in a fastener 290 at its second end 292. The fastener is formed as a post 296 terminating in a beveled end 298. Fastener 290 is sized to form an interference fit within hole 115 of top wall 110 for securing diverter 270 to top portion 102.

When all the above-described components are assembled together, they form cartridge 100 as depicted, for example, in FIGS. 1 and 36. This assembled cartridge is then adapted to be placed within a waterless is coupled to drain 220 with exit port area 136 as provided through the orienting mechanism of keys 116. An 0-ring seal is placed within recess 117 in the periphery of top wall 110.

While separator 120, baffle 150 and other components are described as providing a preferred cooperative arrangement, it is to be understood that these individual components may be employed separately should the user so choose.

Accordingly, although the invention has been described with respect to particular embodiments thereof, it should be realized that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7575022 *Jan 9, 2005Aug 18, 2009Falcon Waterfree TechnologieDiverter, liquid-level indicator and chemical pre-treatment and post-treatment implementations useful in waterless urinals
US20120167296 *Sep 24, 2010Jul 5, 2012Lixil CorporationUrinal drain trap
CN102182230A *Mar 24, 2011Sep 14, 2011张永吉Direct flushing drainage structure
WO2012141664A1Oct 19, 2011Oct 18, 2012Eczacibaşi Yapi Gerešleri Sanayi Ve Ticaret Anonim ŞirketiWaterless urinal drain with magnetic drive
Classifications
U.S. Classification137/247.13
International ClassificationE03C1/26, E03C1/28
Cooperative ClassificationE03C1/281, E03C1/28
European ClassificationE03C1/28B, E03C1/28
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 27, 2013FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Jun 27, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: FALCON WATERFREE TECHNOLOGIES, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HIGGINS, MICHAEL;REEL/FRAME:016728/0428
Effective date: 20050621